American Folklife Center Reauthorization

Alan A. Jabbour (ajab@LOC.GOV)
Tue, 20 Jun 1995 14:00:50 -0400


Tomorrow morning the House will vote on an amendment to the
legislative branch appropriations bill. The amendment seizes
the funds in the bill for the American Folklife Center and
transfers them to the Congressional Budget Office for a study of
unfunded mandates. The idea was proposed out of the blue as an
amendment by Congressmen Davis-VA, Condit-CA, Clinger-PA, and
Portman-OH. They know nothing about the Center but are looking
for money for their own initiative.

Every member of the House will vote. Any action must happen
today to be helpful. Please call the American Folklife Center for
questions, phone numbers, FAX numbers, etc. (202) 707-6590.


Background Information:

American Folklife Center
Library of Congress

The American Folklife Center has been an integral part of the
Library of Congress since 1977, the Archive of Folk Culture has
been part of the Library since 1928.

The American Folklife Center is currently authorized through FY
95. The Library of Congress is seeking a 2-year reauthorization
the Center for FY 96-97. Funding for FY 96 is included in the House
Legislative Branch Appropriations bill on the expectation that it will
beauthorized for FY 96.

Reauthorization legislation has been submitted by the Library to
the House Oversight Committee in April and provided follow up
documentation since then. The Library has not reason not to
think that the Committee would approve authorization.

The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee
recommended private funding for the Folklife Center. The Library
is actively seeking private funding and was able to secure
$330.000 in private funding in 1994 to support outreach projects.
The core appropriation is necessary to support the basic library
services, while maintaining the unique 1.5 million item
collection that serves all 50 states.

The Western Folklife Center in Nevada, cited in Leg. Branch
Appropriations Report is a regional folklife center serving
Western states -- the American Folklife Center is a national
folklife resource with a collection of 1.5 million documents and
with a public reading room which assisted nearly 9,000
researchers in 1994.

The Center's budget is 1,120,000 and 14 full-time employees which
primarily support the archive of 1.4 million items containing a
unique national collection of manuscripts, sound recordings,
photographs, films, videos, periodicals, and other printed

June 20, 1995

Alan Jabbour, Director
American Folklife Center
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-8100